Who should attend our classes?
If you are female, this class is for you. High school students, college students, single women, married women, moms, grandmothers, all women who are interested are welcome. We've had women 14 to 70 years old attend our classes.
We would really like every woman interested in learning self-defense to have the opportunity to take one of our classes. Literally hundreds of thousands of women suffer some sort of assault in the U.S. every year. We want to empower women so that they know how to recognize dangerous situations before they occur (and avoid them) as well as to react when they find themselves in unwanted circumstances.
Women do not need to be in shape or athletic to attend. They do not need to be coordinated or have any experience with martial arts. They do not need to be physically strong. They do not need to be aggressive or angry. We want every woman interested in learning to join us, just as they are.
If you've had an injury or medical problem that might limit your ability to participate in one of our classes, email us at email@example.com. Since our classes are designed for safety, we are often able to teach women who have a medical problem.
Why do women need self-defense?
We like statistics because they help tell a story. Here's the story we want you to know:
51% of women are assaulted at some time in their life.
27% of women experience unwanted sexual contact ranging from inappropriate touching to rape.
More than 50% of sexual assaults occcur inside or near the victim's home.
78-91% of women who are sexually assaulted are assaulted by someone they know.
97-98% of sexual attackers are men.
Only 5-11% report crimes to athorities.
The numbers are painful to read. A lot of women are hurt every year by violent crime, including sexual assault. But, we don't need statistics to know that... most women already understand from personal experience that there are reasons to be cautious in the world.
We think the best reason to take a self-defense class is to reduce your risk of assault. That's the bottom line.
However, there are other reasons too. Social science also shows that women who take self-defense classes have improved confidence. They have less fear of being assaulted and know what they would do if they were in a bad situation. They feel physically strong and capable. They feel they could physically protect themselves if they had to. They are more assertive in all areas of life. They have better boundaries and better recognize when others are trying to harm them. Their self-esteem improves and they value themselves more. Taking a self-defense class can be transformative!
Don't take our word for it. We've asked hundreds of women what they think about taking our self-defense class. Here are some of their ideas:
Learning self-defense is fun and easy. And, it's better to have the skill and not need it than to need it and not have it.
Learning self-defense is empowering.
Learning at Poos is completely non-threatening.
Even if you never have to use it, you could sometime help someone else.
The teachers were very thoughtful and kind.
It was challenging and empowering. I feel I have skills and options I didn't have before.
Very important information given in a non-threatening environment and hands on introduction of practical and useful skills.
I like the practical techniques taught slowly so they are easy to try.
I absolutely loved it! It is way better to know things to do than nothing.
The truth is, we've collected hundreds of comments like these and we are so grateful for all the feedback! We think learning self-defense could save your life and it could also change your life. So, what do you have to lose! Sign up!
What are the benefits of taking a self-defense class for women?
Reduce the Risk of Assault
We think the most important reason to take a women's self-defense class is to reduce the risk of assualt. Our class is modeled on research that showed a significant reduction in risk of assault.
Increase Your Confidence
It's difficult to solve a problem that requires skills you don't have. We focus on building confidence by slowly and carefully teaching skills then practicing them till women feel they could implement those skills in real life. When you know you could avoid dangerous situations or protect yourself if avoidance is not possible, your confidence improves significantly.
A lot of women feel fear every day. Sometimes that fear is minor and other times it's overwhelming. Knowing how to identify what fear means (we think of it as a signal that's trying to tell us something) and what to do when you know what it means, makes a huge difference in how we experience fear. It transforms from something that could be paralyzing to something that could give us energy to act. Managing fear and converting it to useful energy is an important part of our classes.
Feel Better About Your Body
A lot of women have the experience that their bodies are fragile. Sometimes they think that they need others to protect them, that they're not capable of difficult physical tasks, that they're weak, and that they are inadequate. Our classes help women to expereince their bodies as powerful and strong. Participants see women defeat larger men and practice using their bodies to accomplish difficult tasks. They realize that their bodies can protect them from real threats. It's also common to hear from women who take our classes that they feel empowered to be more active in sports and other activities in life beyond self-defense.
Being assertive, telling someone what you want or need, is a crucial skill in navigating the world. But, if women feel even a little oppressed, it has an impact on their assertiveness. On the other hand, if women understand their power through experiencing it in our classes, they begin to realize they can ask for what they want and need. The word women often use to describe our classes is "empowering." They feel capable of saying what's on their mind when they know they could deal with difficult situations.
Set Better Boundaries
Setting Boundaries is tough for lots of reasons. Many people don't like conflict. They fear that if they set a boundary, they won't be able to enforce it. And, sometimes they don't like the idea of potentially hurting someone else's feelings. So, sometimes women will acquiesce to the needs of others at the cost of their own needs. Our classes help women learn that it's important to say "no" and how to do it in a variety of situations. We also teach women how to back up their boundary with physical self-defense. Having a plan and knowing you've practiced that plan makes a big difference when it's time to set a boundary.
Increase Your Self-Esteem
It's hard to protect yourself if you don't value yourself. We spend time, especially in the Beginner Class, discussing the emotional barriers to protecting yourself. We talk through potential obstacles to protecting yourself and we practice how to verbally and physically protect yourself. We've noticed that when we practice in this way, women feel more comfortable thinking about protecting themselves verbally and physically. And, they start telling us that they feel better about themselves.
Are all self-defense classes the same?
No. There are dozens of martial arts, each with their own emphasis, and many that brag their style is the best. We don't care about bragging. We care about what's effective and reliable in helping women protect themselves. That means we take physical techniques from any martial art as long as it can be reliably used against a bigger, stronger, and faster opponent.
We also spend a lot of time thinking about the needs of women. Our instructors are sensitive and kind because we understand that many women come to the classes initially feeling intimidated, overwhelmed, and even scared. We know that many women take our classes because they were hurt at some time in their life. So, we are empathic because that's what helps.
We also use social science to build our curriculum. That means we don't just focus on the physical training. We also focus on udnerstanding people. Discussion is an important and effective tool in helping people think through how to defend themselves. Our curriculum is modeled after research programs that reduce risk of assault.
What should I bring to class?
If you're planning on attending the Free, Beginner, or Intermediate classes or have a private lesson or a private party/team building lesson, we recommend that you wear athletic clothes. Women tend to wear yoga or athletic leggings, athletic shoes, and a long t-shirt. We have drinking fountains but women can bring their own water if they prefer. Women are able to keep their purses in the training room. And, women will need to bring a waiver.
When is the next Free Women's Self-Defense Class?
We offer the Free Women's Self-Defense Class two or three times per year, usually in the summer and winter. To find out the exact date, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How much do classes cost?
Our Free class is, well, FREE! Yay!
Our Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced classes are just $10 per class per person, but you can take the first class for free just to see if you like it. You can pay by the month if that's easier for you.
Private lessons are $30 per hour.
And, our private party classes are $30 per hour per instructor.
You can pay by cash, credit card, or check at the time of the class.
There are no contracts so you can take as many classes as you like.